[Andrew Korybko] Zelensky’s Latest Interview With The Associated Press Suggests That He’s Sobering Up A Bit

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It’s extraordinary that Zelensky finally acknowledged that a lot of things aren’t going the way that he hoped, especially summer’s counteroffensive and his side’s expectations of forthcoming Western aid.

Time Magazine quoted one of Zelensky’s unnamed senior advisors in late October who accused the Ukrainian leader of having messianic delusions of victory over Russia, which was followed last week by Politico openly mocking him as “Dreamer No. 1” in the world for still thinking that he can win. Zelensky now seems to have sobered up a bit judging by his latest interview with the Associated Press (AP) in which he finally acknowledged that a lot of things aren’t going the way that he hoped.

He started off by complaining about his country’s failed counteroffensive over the summer but then caught himself by saying that he can’t complain too much. AP quoted him as saying the following: “Look, we are not backing down, I am satisfied. We are fighting with the second (best) army in the world, I am satisfied. We are losing people, I’m not satisfied. We didn’t get all the weapons we wanted, I can’t be satisfied, but I also can’t complain too much.”

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Interpreting what Zelensky said, he’s purposely sending mixed messages about the counteroffensive since it’s no longer possible to credibly deny its failure but he also doesn’t want to kill morale either. He’s also been humbled by Russia too as evidenced by him acknowledging its status as the “second (best) army in the world” as opposed to the so-called “second strongest army in Ukraine” that Blinken earlier mocked it as. His side’s astronomical losses since June clearly reshaped his perceptions.

The Ukrainian leader is also unhappy with the West for refusing to give him everything that he demanded and is now subtly trying to shift blame for the counteroffensive’s failure away from this doomed-to-fail operation and towards them instead so as to absolve himself of responsibility. The next sign that Zelensky is sobering up was seen when he couldn’t help himself from continuing to complain about the failed counteroffensive despite earlier telling his interlocutor that he can’t complain too much.

In his words, “We wanted faster results. From that perspective, unfortunately, we did not achieve the desired results. And this is a fact.” AP then added that “Ukraine did not get all the weapons it needed from allies, he said, and limits in the size of his military force precluded a quick advance, he said.” Doubling down on his innuendo that the West is responsible for his country’s failed counteroffensive shows how much this outcome is bothering him and suggests that he’s come under lots of pressure.

Extrapolating from this observation, it was earlier reported that the West has begun pressuring Ukraine to recommence peace talks with Russia, which was likely a direct result of the failed counteroffensive. Moreover, Western opposition figures can now more compellingly make the case that continuing to indefinitely fund this proxy war is a waste of finite military-financial resources since the unprecedented multibillion-dollar expenditures connected to that counteroffensive failed to achieve anything at all.

Zelensky is presumably aware of these newly reshaped perceptions towards the conflict and that’s probably one of the reasons why he started blaming the West for the failed counteroffensive. He’s sobered enough (but of course not yet entirely) to know that his side’s time is running out since the aforementioned outcome greatly limits its options in the coming future, not to mention the influence of the upcoming US elections and the West’s prioritization of aid to Israel amidst its latest war with Hamas.

Both were addressed in his interview, thus lending credence to the hypothesis that these interconnected concerns are weighing heavily on his mind and changing how he’s viewing everything too. Regarding the first, he said that “elections are always a shock, and it is completely understandable.” As for the second, he told AP that “We already can see the consequences of the international community shifting (attention) because of the tragedy in the Middle East. Only the blind don’t recognize this.”

Zelensky then added that “You see, attention equals help. No attention will mean no help. We fight for every bit of attention. Without attention, there may be weakness in (the U.S.) Congress.” While everything that he said is self-evident to objective observers, it amounts to a narrative revolution for his side since it had hitherto denied that the elections or that conflict would change anything. The very fact that Zelensky is nowadays openly talking about these concerns shows that he’s indeed sobering up.

That said, he’s still experiencing messianic delusions as proven by him remaining unable to overcome his habit of fearmongering about World War III out of desperation for more Western aid. He ridiculously predicted that “In the case of Ukraine, if resilience fails today due to lack of aid and shortages of weapons and funding, it will mean that Russia will most likely invade NATO countries. And then the American children will fight”, which explains why Politico mocked him as “Dreamer No. 1” in the world.

Nevertheless, when reflecting on his latest interview with AP, it’s extraordinary that Zelensky finally acknowledged that a lot of things aren’t going the way that he hoped, especially summer’s counteroffensive and his side’s expectations of forthcoming Western aid. Slowly but surely, he’s beginning to sober up, but not fast enough since “NATO’s Proxy War On Russia Through Ukraine Appears To Be Winding Down” and they’re likely plotting to throw him under the bus unless he soon freezes the conflict.

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